Halloween, Children and Adult Responsibilities
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The future of the world will largely depend on how our children turn out. And that largely depends on what the older generations are teaching and failing to teach the younger generations. We should consider this a huge responsibility.
Teaching is accomplished by words and by examples. Parents and other adults must be good role models, practicing what they preach.
The world is becoming dominated by immature adults, especially men. Think of the oft-mentioned phenomenon of the couch-potato man-child. Let us hope there will be a significant impact by William Bennett’s latest book, The Book of Man: Readings on the Path to Manhood.
The Bible—the treasure chest of wisdom and maturity
The most important book, the book that everyone needs to be reading, is The Book—the Bible. It’s the book of true wisdom—godly wisdom, mature wisdom and practical wisdom.
Wisdom is not the same as intelligence. True wisdom has a spiritual foundation. The world is full of highly intelligent people who lack wisdom and do very foolish things.
The Bible places great emphasis on seeking wisdom. “How much better to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver” (Proverbs 16:16; see also 4:5, 7). Virtually the entire book of Proverbs is devoted to principles and examples of wisdom versus foolishness.
The Bible also heavily stresses the adult responsibility for teaching mature wisdom to our children and grandchildren—the wisdom based on the knowledge of our Creator God and His revealed Word (Deuteronomy 6:1-7; Ephesians 6:4). There are so many, many things that need to be taught. For example, the Bible is the ultimate authority on relationships—our relationship with God and with people.
If you are not yet convinced that the Bible is God’s inspired revelation to humanity, I hope you read the proofs of that in our publications, especially the booklet, Is the Bible True?
What does Halloween teach?
Now I hope you won’t dismiss this message because you think the messenger is a Scrooge, a Grinch or a crotchety old curmudgeon who is out to rain on people’s parades. I believe in fun and providing fun for our children. There are plenty of ways to have fun that don’t involve something displeasing to God.
And I love and respect the people who celebrate Halloween—but I don’t love Halloween. Why? Because I’m aware of many negative consequences of celebrating pagan holidays and not celebrating the Holy Days commanded in the Bible. I don’t want you and your children to suffer negative consequences.
What does Halloween teach? That it’s OK to ignore what the Bible says in relation to such a practice. It’s OK to ignore the sinister origins and history of Halloween. It’s OK to intimidate complete strangers and expect them to hand over sugary candy. It’s OK to pretend to be something evil.
Doesn’t Halloween teach the greedy way of get versus the godly way of give? Think how much better it would be if parents taught their children the joy of giving by taking them to perform some acts of service for some older folks! (Acts 20:35).
The celebration of Halloween implies that the adults don’t understand the Bible very well nor the origins of Halloween or they wouldn’t be permitting their children to engage in this holiday.
Probably the most important point is this: the celebration of Halloween indicates what is not being taught and practiced—the observance of the wonderful Holy Days that are taught and commanded in the Bible! Those days are jam-packed with rich meaning that teach the amazing plan of God for all mankind!
When people are unaware of or unwilling to observe God’s Holy Days, there is a spiritual vacuum in their lives that is usually filled with the counterfeit days of this materialistic world. It's sad.
There are many things wrong in God’s sight with the principles and practices of Halloween—many more than what are mentioned in this blog. On this website and in our publications, you’ll find numerous articles that together thoroughly explain from the Bible the many critical issues regarding the world’s popular holidays including Halloween, Christmas and Easter.
Adult responsibility for children and future generations
It’s somewhat amazing that what was considered a holiday for childish silliness has become popular for adult silliness. The popularity of adult parties and costumes has soared during the last several years. (See another blog titled “Paganism Is Popular Because It Is Profitable”). And many adult parties have heavy drinking and boisterous revelry similar the Roman bacchanalia.
More and more I feel ashamed of the word “adult.” For example, adult entertainment usually means raunchy entertainment. The implication to our children is that they can look forward to enjoying really raunchy stuff as soon as they are adults.
A culture quickly disintegrates when the people of the older generation are not good role models and teachers for the younger generations. Increasingly in the cultures of Western societies, we see adults following their children rather than leading them! Bible prophecy indicated this would happen. For a healthy society, adults must be mature and pass along maturity to their children.
Can you imagine any biblical patriarch, prophet, priest or apostle dressing in a costume and going to a Halloween party? Can you imagine any of our American statesmen like George Washington, Benjamin Franklin or Abraham Lincoln doing any such thing? Can you imagine any of them even allowing their children to “go trick or treating”?
Adults should strive to be childlike in humility (Matthew 18:3-4) but not childish in attitudes and actions (1 Corinthians 13:11).
The awesome responsibility to never be a bad influence, especially on young people, is clear from Jesus’ sobering warning: “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:6).
Let’s give very serious thought not only to what we teach younger people by our words and actions. Their future wisdom and maturity depends largely on us.
Let us as parents and extended families do the best we possibly can to teach, guide and mold our children and youth! And may we who have no minor children at home take very seriously our God-given responsibility to be good influences and role models for everyone around us!
I heartily recommend United Church of God’s booklet, Marriage and Family: The Missing Dimension.